From CBD to Plant-Based Foods, Here are 5 of the Hottest Trends from Expo West, Including Our Favorite – Chickpeas!

Earlier this month, our team here at Chixi had the pleasure of traveling out to Anaheim, California where we attended Expo West. Natural Products Expo West is the largest natural products convention in the country and is basically the Superbowl of all things health and wellness. That includes natural and organic foods, supplements and lifestyle products. Our team spent the week sampling some of the latest food trends (hey, it’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it) and walking the convention halls where we spotted some of the latest trends in the natural foods and products industry. Here are five trends from Expo West that caught our attention.

Chickpeas

Now this is a trend we can definitely get behind! With the rise in plant-based lifestyles and protein-packed snacks, it’s no wonder why chickpeas were everywhere at Expo West. We found flavored chickpeas, ran into roasted chickpeas and chomped on handfuls of chickpea based chips and puffs. Although we prefer our chickpeas ground up into a smooth, creamy spread, we didn’t mind munching on chickpeas dusted with nutritional yeast for a tangy, Umami taste. Yum!

Anti-Inflammatory Foods

Inflammation is a normal reaction in the body that protects us when we have an injury or experience stress. However, chronic inflammation can lead to potential health issues and future disease. This is why specialized diets that are anti-inflammatory in nature like Keto, Low-FODMAP and Whole30, are gaining popularity. It’s no wonder why anti-inflammatory foods were one of the major trends spotted this year at Expo West.

Gut Health and Probiotics

Research now indicates a large portion of the Immune System lies within the gut, so it’s no surprise foods that support a healthy microbiome were popular at Expo West. Probiotic supplements were prevalent as well as probiotic packed foods like protein bars and beverages.

Plant-Based

With the ever-growing popularity of plant-based diets and lifestyles, not to mention anti-inflammatory foods (see above), brands and companies are beginning to offer consumers more plant-based food options. Some popular plant-based options we spotted came in the form of beets, chickpeas, legumes, lentils and peas.

CBD

CBD was easily by far the most popular trend at Expo West this year. From CBD gel capsules, oils and topicals to CBD candies and CBD infused cocktails, CBD was the hottest trend this year. While the benefits of CBD have not all been fully identified, the major benefits of CBD include its anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety properties. CBD can also assist in individuals who experience sleeping disorders. It’s not just humans who can benefit from CBD though, it’s pets too! With 80% of Millennials owning pets, companies are beginning to create CBD products for pets to help ease their separation anxiety and keep them calm during thunderstorms.

There may have been many trends at this year’s Expo West, but the major theme of them all was food as medicine. As consumers are becoming more aware of how foods can impact not just their physical health, but their mental and emotional health, brands and companies are challenged to return to real, whole foods and natural ingredients that consumers, and their bodies, can recognize. Expo West 2019 was one for the books and we can’t wait to attend next year. See you at Expo West in 2020!